oa De Rebus - A further look at s 204(2) of the criminal procedure act
The decision in Mahomed v Attorney-General of Natal & Others 1996 (1) SACR 139 (N) has brought about a very interesting development in our courts' application of s 204 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977. According to this decision (per Howard JP, Wilson J concurring), when a witness is warned under s 204(1)(a) (the Act's 'indemnity' section), he acquires a right - or at least a legitimate expectation - to a discharge, if the questions are answered frankly and honestly. He is therefore entitled, before the decision can be made, to a hearing in terms of the audi alteram partem principle.
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